JVC DLA-HD250 - Performance
8/2/2010 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-HD250 Brightness
Only one minor surprise here. The new JVC DLA-HD250 projector is very similar to last year's RS15, and the older still RS10 and RS1. In terms of brightness. In this case, the JVC DLA-HD250 - and, therefore also the JVC HD250Pro - measured a little brighter than most previous models (except for the RS1). That said, there haven't been really significant differences from year to year. The variations may well be due to the individual lamps, and the hours on the lamp. This year, we were the first to turn on the HD250 since we borrowed it from Tim, a nice guy who said I could use it, in exchange for us calibrating it, while his theater is still under contruction. (He's got it back now 8/2).
JVC DLA-HD250 Projector - Un-calibrated:
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Cinema 1= 801 @ 6934
Cinema 2= 743 @ 5942
Natural= 803 @ 6948
Stage= 865 @ 8036
Dynamic= 934 @ 9064
User 1, 2 or 3= 803 @ 6955
JVC DLA-HD250 Projector - Calibrated:
User 1 (Cinema 2): 758 lumens
User 2 (Dynamic): 853 lumens
The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness: Our standard measurements reported are done with the zoom at its mid-point. Here are relative numbers from the Cinema 1 mode, for different lens positioning From a percentage standpoint, the differences will be the same for any mode, as you change the lens angle:
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
Zoom out: 998
Zoom in: 796
That works out to about a 7% increase in brightness going to wide-angle, in brightest mode, has the HD250 outputting a maximum of just under 1000 lumens (998) lumens. As you saw above, improving the overall Picture Quality, did lower the brightest mode to 853 lumens.
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
Lumen Output (Low Lamp, Dynamic): 633
That's a drop from 934 - a whopping 32% and change, and fully consistant with last year's JVC review of the RS15.
That drop off should be the same, in any preset or custom mode when you drop the lamp power.
As noted the JVC HD250 (like the older RS15), you can also control brightness (and slightly effect contrast) by closing down the manual iris. The HD250 has only 3 steps, like the RS40, though, the highest end JVCs offer 16 steps.
Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
3 (maximum opening) = 934
2 = 713
1 (minimum opening) = 487
As you can see, setting #1 gives up about half the brightness, which also will slightly improve contrast.
The JVC DLA-HD250, and for that matter, virtually all LCoS projectors
On movies the JVC looks nice and sharp. You can further enhance the appearance of sharpness with the Detail Enhancement control.
When it comes to pure digital content, like the great stuff on Discovery HD, Travel HD, or other high quality content channels, the JVC looks nice and sharp, but the sharpest DLP projectors tend to look "razor sharp" by comparison
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Top left: JVC DLA-HD250, Top Left Center - JVC RS35, Top Right Center - JVC DLA-RS25, Top right - JVC DLA-RS15.
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE4000, right center: Optoma HD8600, right: InFocus SP8602
My original DTS test disc died, for this sharpness demo, we are transitioning to a closeup of the PS3 system screen, showing the Video icon, for the future.
JVC DLA-HD250: Bottom Line Sharpness
Certainly there are sharper seeming projectors. You just aren't likely to get perfect convergence of the JVC's three panels, giving single chip DLP projectors a distinct advantage.
No change here, from last year's models. This JVC projector, too, leaks light out of the lens. This is especially true if you are using a lot of vertical lens shift. There's a bright side though.
That bright spot is that while the leak covers a wide area, it's so dark as to be a total non-issue. That leakage (which is outside of the projected image area) is no brighter - less bright, than the black levels themselves, and they are darker than with any other projector. If I was still in a room with an off-white wall surrounding the screen, I would be able to spot it with a virtually totally dark image projected, and the room otherwise fully darkened. In my current room where the wall behind the screen is dark, I couldn't see it at all.
JVC DLA-HD250 Image Noise
Nothing new here. For the 3rd generation, JVC has continued with higher end Silicon Optix for their image processing. They are still using the Silicon Optix Reon-VX (the lastest version no doubt). The Reon-VX is found in a number of excellent projectors. I'm not aware of any notable flaws in image processing. Mosquito noise is just visible, in normal amounts, without the Noise Reduction engaged. I don't see a need to implement it, but that is personal taste. Performance on motion artifacts is very good. As you can imagine, the HD250 like the other JVCs easily passes all the other related related tests that we use from the HQV test disc, as that widely used test disc is put out by Silicon Optix.
The HD250 does offer a contrast enhancement feature. As would be expected, it does slightly increase the image noise when engaged.
DLA-HD250 Audible Noise
More than quiet enough. While there are quieter projectors the JVC HD250 is quieter than average, and claims a very impressive 19db noise level in low power mode. It's probably still 25 db or less with fan and lamp running at full power. The pitch of the noise is fairly average, and lower than many. Overall, having owned the equally quiet JVC RS20, audible noise has been a non-issue. In fairness, my RS20 sits on a high shelf (just over 10 feet) and about 8 feet behind me, so it's a lot further away than it would be in some smaller rooms or if ceiling mounting almost overhead. Still, while there are quieter projectors, this should satisfy all but the most noise adverse, and even those folks would have to have it placed close by before they might complain.